Colorful Cloud Reflections At Blackwater NWR

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland has a lot of interesting cloud formations to photograph. On this visit years ago the Clouds & Sky were very colorful and had Great Reflections in the water. The Featured Image was taken with a 12mm lens on a Canon 1D mkII. I liked the sun lighting up the colorful clouds and the reflections in the water.

Plainsboro Preserve Landscapes @ 12mm & 24mm

We went to Plainsboro Preserve to take a walk and to see what we could find to photograph. Looking outside before we left we saw the clouds were amazing. So I decided to travel light and only brought a 12-24mm lens on a Canon R, thinking I would concentrate on landscapes with the clouds. And if I saw something else interesting I also had my iPhone 11 Pro. The Plainsboro Preserve includes over 1,000 acres of undisturbed open space with nature trails and the 50-acre McCormack Lake. The New Jersey Audubon Society manages the preserve on behalf of Plainsboro and Middlesex County County, NJ.

Path Into Woods, 12mm, Canon R
Path Along Woods, 2 images stacked @12mm for Taller Image to get more of the clouds
On Path & Looking at Lake, 12mm Canon R
Far End Of Lake McCormack
4 images @ 12mm, 2 overlapping images top half, 2 images overlapping bottom half, Canon R
Path On The Way Out Of The Woods, Horizontal Image, 24mm, Canon R
Path On The Way Out Of The Woods, Vertical Image, 24mm, Canon R
Path On The Way Out The Woods, Horizontal Image, 12mm, Canon R
Plainsboro Preserve Path, 12mm, Canon R
Clouds Over Parking Lot, 12mm, Canon R

Christmas Lights At Longwood Gardens

We went to Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, PA, for their annual Christmas light displays. These are just a few of the outdoor displays at night. There are also many other displays throughout the Conservatory and other buildings. One of the other very interesting displays was a room full of decorations with amazing ornaments made from books and other paper pages. They must have been cut/fabricated maybe by laser cutting. But it was amazing to see the intricate cutting & fabrication. I will post some of them next. Most of the images I shot with an Olympus OMD-1 mk I with a 14-140mm Panasonic lens (with the lens stabilization turned off). I was also using a Canon body with a 12-24mm lens,  but was relying more on the OMD for in-body stabilization. Much lighter to carry and with the stabilized body worked well for the images in early evening. I found the Olympus in-body stabilization worked better than the Panasonic lens stabilization. Plus if you stop down to f/22 you can get some really cool motion blurs or spins with the Olympus OM-D. I saw a few tripods being used, but you usually have to get a free permit for them and cannot use tripods after 2:00. Plus it was so crowded it would have been in the way, so they probably would not allow it for this time.

The featured image above was at 22mm with the 4/3 Olympus OM-D mkI.

We had to get there early, before 2:00 in the afternoon, otherwise, even being members, you had to have a timed entrance because of the huge crowds that come to see the night displays. Also getting there later you have to park off site and take shuttles to the facility. But there is plenty to see before the evening lights up! It takes hours to go through the Conservatory, which is all decorated for Christmas, and you still probably will not see everything.

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Late afternoon along the walkways, getting ready for the full impact of the lights at night.

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Fountains set to music – when darker they would have colorful lights

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Along the path to other fountains & displays starting to get dark.

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3 image panorama @14mm- assembled in Photoshop

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Birdhouse Display early evening before dark, 18mm, f/10 @ 1/5 sec

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Bird house display in the dark, f/ 5.6 @ 0.3 sec

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3 image panorama – 14mm. Also these were cascading lights, so in a way it is also an Image Stack that included the cascading lights as they “fell”.  14mm, 1/3rd of a second each exposure, handheld. Pano & stacked in Photoshop. f/8 @ 1/8 sec, handheld

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2 image vertical panorama & stack. Panorama to show reflections in water and stack to include more of the cascading lights.

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Single image, m43 15mm, 1/8 Sec to show green lights before changing to another color, handheld.

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Christmas Tree Changing Color of Lights, 1/13th sec, handheld, m43 @ 32mm

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Tree with Lights and Color Spotlights on Tree Trunk. f/ 4.5 @ 12mm Canon, 1/30th sec

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Another Tree with Lights, 12mm Canon, f/ 4.5 @ 1/13 sec. handheld

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3 image Panorama, 24mm Canon, f/ 5.6 @ 1/8 sec. handheld

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